Bullfighting is a spectacular interaction between a man and a bull which is closely associated with Spain. The first bullfight took place in 711 A.D. It was in honor of King Alfonso VIII crowning celebration.
Originally bullfighting was considered to be a sport of aristocracy only. But a bit later King Felipe V prohibited the aristocracy to take part in it as he was convinced that it is a cruel example to people. After the ban common people accepted this sport and later made it world famous. If you are in Spain it's one of top things to do.
The whole performance starts when the bull comes to the ring, then matador’s assistant waves a bright cape in front of the bull. Matador watches this process in order to understand the bull’s mood. Then the Picadors are let into the ring and they put spears into the bull’s back. After that Matador takes off his black hat and thefight starts. It is called faena.
In the right hand Matador holds the killing sword and in the left – muelta, a piece of the bright thick cloth. The faena – is a dance with death. The Matador’s task is to entertain the audience and the more dramatic the dance will be the more audience will enjoy it. At the same time he has to be really careful – one wrong move and he could be on the bull’s horns. The fight lasts till the moment when Matador shows that he is superior. As soon as the goal achieved the bull can be killed.
If the matador wins the president awards him with trophies. It can be parts of the bull: the ears, the tail or the hoof according to his skills. Waving white handkerchiefs the crowd usually asks the president to give the trophies by. But the waving continuous as the audience tries to encourage the Matador to throw all he won into the crowd. The crowd in return rewards matador with flowers thrown to the ring.
Lots of people supporting bullfighting think that it is an integral part of Spanish culture. But this sport is very often criticized by the animal rights activists, who insist on the cruelty of this sport and the bull suffers from awful death. And a lot of them organize and take part in anti-bullfighting actions not only in Spain but in other countries as well. The largest protest was this summer in front of Bilbao’s bullring where hundreds of people covered in fake blood demonstrated dying bulls.
But despite all bans and anti-bullfighting actions, it is still a huge part of Spanish culture which attracts millions of visitors each year. Bullfighting supporters are convinced that the bull is not a victim but an adversary deserving appreciation and respect.